Posted on November 21, 2022

Native Hawaiian Men Are Found Guilty of a Hate Crime for Viciously Beating a White Man

Aneeta Bhole, Daily Mail, November 18, 2022

Two native Hawaiian men have been found guilty of a hate crime after a white man was beaten with a shovel while renovating his new home in a remote Maui neighborhood.

Kaulana Alo-Kaonohi and Levi Aki Jr were detained Thursday pending sentencing on March 2 over the sickening 2014 assault in which they told the victim he ‘had the wrong color skin.’

Family members and supporters wept in the courtroom calling out ‘I love you’ and ‘be good,’ while Alo-Kaonohi’s son Kahue, 3, said ‘God bless you daddy’ after U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright delivered his verdict.

Christopher Kunzelman, who bought the property after a Hawaiian woman visited him in a dream, was left with a concussion, two broken ribs and head and abdominal trauma after the brutal attack.

Alo-Kaonohi and Aki punched, kicked and used a shovel to beat Kunzelman, who had purchased the foreclosed house in their home village of Kahakuloa.


In the footage shared online, one of the men can be heard saying ‘it’s not personal’.

Talking to khon2 in 2019 Kunzelman said he tried to reason with both the men but they told him that he ‘had the wrong color skin.’


Kunzelman had moved to Maui for his wife who loved the island from Scottsdale, Arizona, after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

He said a Hawaiian woman told him in a dream to buy the dilapidated oceanfront house, which he and his wife purchased, unseen, for $175,000 after finding the listing online.

The pair never got to live in the home and he now resides in Puerto Rico after the attack.

‘They started explaining to me why I was being evicted and they started explaining to me it was because I had the wrong color skin,’ said Kunzelman.

‘At one point he even said, ‘You seem like a nice guy, but you’re the wrong color for this place.

Kunzelman said that while Alo-Kaonohi was beating him up he told him, ‘You have the wrong skin color, no white man is ever going to live here.’

He said the attacker continued to say: ‘We’re the law, we’re the police, the police have our backs, we’re the ones who make the laws, we’re the ones who enforce the laws, we’re the judge in Kahakuloa, and we’re the ones who decide if you live or die.’

At the time of the incident the state chose to forego hate crime charges, instead charging both men with assault.

Alo-Kaonohi previously pleaded no contest to felony assault in state court and was sentenced to probation, while Aki pleaded no contest to terroristic threatening and was sentenced to probation and nearly 200 days in jail.

But in December 2020, the US Department of Justice sought to prosecute Alo-Kaonohi and Aki, securing a federal grand jury indictment, charging each with a hate crime count punishable by up to 10 years in prison.


Local attorneys told AP they had never heard of the federal government prosecuting Native Hawaiians for hate crimes before this case.